Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Minister Uma Bharti on Wednesday claimed that she does not consider herself as Lord Ram who can "purify Dalits". The statement comes at a time when the BJP is striving hard to make inroads into the Dalit communities across the country.
"I don't consider myself Lord Ram that I could purify Dalits by eating at their home. Instead, I prefer inviting Dalits to my home and serving them personally," Bharti said at Samajik Samrasta Bhoj in Naugaon's Gadhmau village, while refusing to take part in the mass meal.
"When Dalits come to our house and eat together it is then that we will become pure," news agency ANI quoted her as saying.
You can see the love and happiness of these (Dalit) people. You can see it on the family's face, is it as if they have got something they would never have been able to afford," he said.
Meanwhile, in a stark contrast to Bharti's statement, Yogi's cabinet minister Rajendra Pratap on the same day reportedly compared BJP leaders to Lord Ram.
He said the way Lord Ram blessed Shabari (a Dalit) by eating his berries, BJP leaders were also blessing Dalits by going to their homes.
The statement came after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had dinner and spent a night at a Dalit village in Pratapgarh district on April 24.